Simon Easterby joins Irish coaching set-up as Scarlets release their head coach
The IRFU has confirmed Simon Easterby as the new Ireland forward’s coach after he was released by the Scarlets to take up the international role.
The 65-cap Ireland international has been granted permission to leave the Welsh club following discussions with the IRFU, something Easterby himself described as an “emotional decision.”
Discussions were concluded between both parties this week and Easterby admitted it was too big an opportunity to turn down.
“It's a huge opportunity for me in Ireland and one I am very excited about, but it's been a very emotional decision to leave the Region that has been such a major part of my rugby career,” he said.
“I am grateful to everyone that has helped me throughout my Scarlets career.”
“My particular thanks go to all the players in the squad for their hard work and commitment, the backroom staff who have been a pleasure to work alongside over the past couple of years and all our supporters who continue to show great passion and loyalty to all that rugby stands for in West Wales.”
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has expressed his delight at the latest addition to his management team.
"Simon has tremendous test match experience combined with an in-depth knowledge of the current National Squad players,” he said.
“He is well known to Irish rugby supporters and to many of the players and his knowledge and experience will help drive the team forward.”
The Scarlets were quick to praise their departed coach and thanked him for his contribution to the game in Llanelli.
"It is a compliment to Simon's fast development and success within his coaching role at Parc y Scarlets over the past two years that he has been offered this opportunity,” Scarlets Mark Davies said.
“We were aware that both Joe Schmidt and the IRFU had identified Simon some time ago and as a result of his and the Scarlets progress over the last two seasons, this chance has come his way.”
“As Scarlets we thank Simon for his huge contribution as a player and most recently as our coach for all that he has done to represent this Region at the highest level; he has worked with huge integrity, dedication and passion and wish him all the best in his international coaching career.”
Easterby will take up his Ireland role in October.